It’s grueling to be outside for just a few minutes on a hot summer’s day, let alone for a full 24 hours. That’s why when a Good Samaritan noticed a mysterious animal lying on a sunny hillside for three days straight, she knew that something wasn’t right.
“She thought that [the animal] was a coyote at first,” rescuer Suzette Hall told The Dodo. But when the woman got closer, she realized that she was actually looking at a dog.
The woman recognized the dog from various posts on Facebook, written by neighbors who had spotted the dog in different places over the course of two weeks. But no one had reported her as “missing,” only “seen.”
With the heat rising and the dog still refusing to budge from the hill, the woman reached out to Hall for help.
When she got there, the sun was beating down on the exposed hill and only getting stronger. “It was so hot that day,” Hall said. “I was feeling so dizzy, but I thought, ‘She’s gotta be hotter.’”
Watch Hall approaches the dog for the first time here:
Hall grabbed her trap and a giant jug of water, then made her way over to the steep hillside. The closer she got, the clearer the dog’s condition became.
“You could tell that she hadn’t had water in days,” Hall said.
When she finally got to the dog, Hall set her trap with treats and filled a large bowl with water.
“She drank all the water,” Hall said. “But she wasn’t going into the trap. She would go in a little bit and then go lay back out in the sun.”
After a while, the dog began to realize that Hall was there to help. “Every time I would start to go down there to check on her, she would start to wiggle her tail,” Hall said. “She knew I was there. She was starting to trust me.”
Hall was eventually able to get close enough to the dog to talk to her but still wasn’t able to catch her. And the lure in her trap was still not enticing enough to get the dog to go all the way to the back.
So, Hall left the hillside for a few minutes and brought back some fresh treats, which finally did the trick.
Walking up to the trap, Hall got a better look at the dog and realized that she was much younger than she seemed.
“She’s a little Malinois puppy,” Hall said. “[She’s] about 7 months old.”
Even though she was trembling in the trap, the scared pup couldn’t help but wag her tail as Hall approached her. So, Hall gave her a name that reflected both her story and her personality.
“I named her Sunshine because it was so hot and because she’s a bright light of sunshine,” Hall said.
With the help of four kind-hearted firemen, Hall was able to get Sunshine off the hill and finally out of the sun.
It was a triumphant moment for Hall and the Good Samaritans who helped her, but Sunshine couldn’t shake her fear.
“She’s just so scared,” Hall said. “She’ll let you pet her, but she just shakes. That’s typical for being on the streets for a long time.”
You can watch Sunshine’s demeanor after her rescue here:
No one in the neighborhood knows where Sunshine came from, but Hall suspects from her behavior that the dog had been out there for a while — possibly all her life.
“She is so unsocialized,” Hall said. “I don’t think she ever had a home.”
After the rescue, Hall brought Sunshine to the vet, where the pup is currently decompressing in her own private space. According to Hall, vet techs at the clinic have been showering Sunshine in love, which has helped her feel more comfortable around people.
As soon as she’s done decompressing, Sunshine will go home with an experienced foster parent—one who has helped dogs like Sunshine blossom in the past. From there, she’ll be adopted into her forever home.
And, although she’s still waiting for her happy ending, Sunshine’s rescue from the brutal sun after a scorching three days is a success in and of itself. “She’s a total miracle,” Hall said.
To keep up with Suzette Hall’s rescues, follow her on Facebook.